tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 12, 2014 11:00pm-1:01am EST
actively managing them in a transparent fashion. >> however, the resource gap and that the agency gap is planning funding for sos and matching requirements for resources for the december 2017 flight test and high confidence level. the agency's options are largely limited to increasing program funding. delaying the schedule for accepting the reduce confidence level for the initial flight test. the sos program calculated the risk associated with insufficient funding through 2017 and 90% likely to occur. indicating insufficient budget to push the december 2017 launch date out six months and add some 400 million to the overall cost of development. after our report was issued, when nasa established formal baselines for sos, nasa committed to a launch readiness date of 2018. so that it could have more confident in meeting this date. in our opinion this was a good
step as nasa still has low confidence, 30% that it can meet the earlier date. going forward, we have short and long-term concerns about nasa's human space exploration programs. in the short term the programs are entering the most risky phases of development. there are still technical hurdles to overcome. particularly with the orion spacecraft which is addressing challenges with the parachute system and heat shield among others. there is also considerable development and testing ahead for orion in terms of the human support systems. meanwhile, sos is continuing to pursue the earlier launch dates of december 2017. while nasa's urgency is understandable, the schedule for achieving the earlier date mostly with respect to the core stage is very aggressive. there's little room to address problems. moreover, it does not appear that orion and the ground system can achieve the earlier date. and the long-term we have concerns about the cost estimating for human space
exploration programs. nasa's only produce estimates for sos and ground system through the first flight test and orion through the second flight test. there is still significant development ahead for sos after the first flight and significant operations and sustainment cost for all three programs. moreover, there is still uncertainty about action taken after the second test. without knowing the missions formally, nasa is limited in its plan for the future and is at risk for closes today that will not make sense later. affordability for the long haul is a real issue and one that they had theorys on. but to garner the long-term commitment from the congress and taxpayers, that is needed to make this program a success, we need transparent and realistic estimates about the resources that will be needed to achieve the nation's goals for human space exploration. thank you.
wh that concludes my statement. i'm happy to answer any question is you have. >> committee rules limit questions to five minutes. the chair will open the round of questions. the chair recognizes himself for five minutes. >> mr. gerssten meyer, in the test by gao miss chaplin states that gao found that nasa's proposed funding levels affected the sos program. the program ability to resources since its inception. gao reported that sos is tracking a $400 million shortfall in funding as the most significant risk. nasa officials have testified multiple times before this committee that the president's budget request was sufficient to keep the sos and orion on budget and on schedule. i realize there is a tough question for you to answer because you have to defend the president's budget request, but congress is ultimately responsible for funding this program and ensuring taxpayer dollars are efficiently spent.
given that nasa has now delayed the launch of sos due to funding pressure, what funding level would keep the 2017 date on track? >> again i would say that the that the recent review we did, problematic review that christine why talked about, we o committed to joint confidence level of 28% and that's consistent with the budget we submitted to congress through the administration. that's a consistent plan. we have been trying to work to an earlier schedule and that's based on the risk mitigation or extra fund weg received from congre congress. we try hold the earlier launch dlat we can potentially hold moving forward. we need to be aware of the concerns that gao brought up and make sure we don't overly pressure that schedule and try to work too fast and do things
that end up in wasting the funds or wasting of resources. so our current planning we were holding december of 2017. i would say we've now moved off of that date. we will be somewhere in 2018 timeframe. now with our current planning and that's just based on the reality of problems that have come along if the program and some uncertainty and funding. we will move a little bit into planning dates and i would say the june timeframe of 2018 and still ahead of our commitment into 2018 consistent with the president's budget request. so i would say we're managing in this kind of interesting environment where we get different funding levels. there is technical progress and sos is entering, and where they actually go into manufacture of hardware and we will see how that goes over the next couple months in january, february and march. and we balance the budget needs that we have over all.
and try to deliver a program as effectively ooze we can for the nation and for the congress. >> ms. chaplin, gao noted in the past that the sos and orion programs do not have innovative schedules for development and launch. how is nasa plannaging the schedules for the two programs so they launch, not just on time, but at the same time. >> there are still different dates in final launches and orion is tbd, you could say right now, because they are about go into the process where they look at their resources, their schedules and they seat launch date. at this time, it does not look like they could make 2017 and 2018 is even a clael in and of itself. so we look forward to seeing what that date really is. and then having the dates of the other programs align. and it is important to plan it a single date as early as you can so that you can align tasks
appropriately to meet that date. you don't unnecessarily spend resources trying to meet dates that other people or other systems can't meet. so we'll have to see what happens after this next kdbc cycle for orion and see how all of the dates shake out. >> i now recognize ms. edwards. >> thank you, mr. chairman. again, thank you for the testimony. we have all recognized that resources for orion sos programs have been constrained. and i think we can acknowledge as well that flat budgets are not optimal for carrying out major development programs like orion and sos. but i am impressed with how much progress has been made on these programs given these constraints. and as you know, the committee has a goal of having sos and orion operational at the earlier possible date. you indicated that.
but you also indicated slippage based on the budget constraint. we're going to be authorizing nasa again -- well, reauthorizing next year. so i want to understand what the additional progress could be made on the sos and orion programs if we were to authorize additional resources. and whether or not the impact on the exploration programs, whether there would be any impact if there were inflationary increases as recommended by the national academies report of 5% increase, say. and would a sustained increase of this kind of magnitude be sufficient to accelerate the progress that you described for projecting launch dates for em-1 and 2 or would it only be enough to reduce the risk of those dates being pushed even further to the right. i guess i'm just trying to figure out what would get us back to a 2017 target.
you seem to indicate it is not just resources but you know, even ms. chaplin acknowledges that the 2018 dates are at risk as well because of the uncertainty around budget constraints. >> and think one thing that could be helpful us to is to get stability and understanding what the budget is. it is difficult for the programs to plan for potentially what could be a congressional budget versus administration budget. to get some agreement between administration and congress so we know what the plan for in terms of budget would be helpful for us overall. as well as the absolute level. in terms of the technical work, again i think we have really probably moved off of december 2017 when i look at the work so i don't think funding will pull us back to that date. i also respectfully have a difference of opinion with gao. i think it is perfectly fine to complete one of these programs ahead of the others.
they don't need to all sneak up at exactly the same time. when you take a vehicle to launch at the kennedy space center, technically the rocket is ready to go well before the payload is. it is to our advantage to have difference in scheduled between tlem. i think sos coming first. having ground systems ready if florida and orion showing up at the third place is perfectly fine. it is not going to waste resources on if em-1 is complete. if sos is ready to fly we will begin working on the next core for the flight of sos. so that will transition immediately from em-1 to em-2. so there is an need to have all of the programs synced up. we have to be careful and think about that. if there is extra constraint in where i have to sync up and match all of the schedules, i think that puts another burden in that can make an inefficiency. again from a technical standpoint, where probably under
2018, where sos and the first part with funding levels we've he is not, we have made commitment and kdbc activity and ground ops in june of 2018 with our commitment and we're in the process of doing the orion evaluation date. >> with the rocket and spacecraft without a mission, we set a long-term goal of a house pass nasa authorization act for 2014 of sending humans to mars. and we need a roadmap from nasa, the best way to get there. and it seems to me that now is the time for that. what role do you see sos and orion having in reaching that goal and when will we have a strategy for getting there? >> i think both sos and orion play a key role and that strategy described, sos is heavy lift launch is that we need that ability to launch that much to
go do a mars mass mission. with what you see in the test and hire from a lunar return velocity which most capsules have not so those two components are critical to our mars strategy. there is others that need to be added. and we are actually using space station today to buy down risk on the human performance and how well systems work. so i think it was talked about the life support system of orion is being tested on space station today. so we are actually getting a chance to see how the mean swing bed operations work on board space stations. so we can use all these pieces to continue to advance towards mars but i don't think there is any request that these two pieces fit squarely in any plan for mars activity. >> so we should set aside that criticism, right? >> yes. >> thank you. >> now recognize mr. brian stein from oklahoma. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your leadership on this very important committee. thank you to our witnesses
providing testimony today. it's an honor to be with you and certainly hear your testimony. gene, the last man to walk on the moon, took off the moon december 17, 1972. three years before i was born. he was naval af aviator, engineer, electrical engineer, a pilot, fighter pilot, and an astronaut. he and so many others that accomplished that pentacle feat, never went back to the moon. and i think that is a tragedy. and certainly something that this committee needs to be aware of. it hasn't happened in my lifetime. my parents remember exactly where they were the first time it happened with neil armstrong
and buzz aldrin. congress as a whole commissioned a report that cost $3.2 million. they spent 18 months, it was a group of individuals led by governor mitch daniels and they came up with a report called pathways to exploration. and one thing that i thought was telling in this report is they talk about a horizon goal. what is the horizon goal for nasa? and their horizon goal, according to them, nasa's horizon goal, aught to be mars. and of course there are stepping stones, pathways, to get to land a human on mars and bring humans home from particulars. and interestingly, it says the current program to develop launch vehicles for spacecraft for flight beyond leo cannot provide the flight frequency required to maintain competence and safety. and i will read that again.
cannot provide the flight frequency required to are main competent and safety. i took a trip down to houston. i talked to them about sos. of course, everybody was looking forward to the first launch. it was going to be december of 2017. now we're here in 2018. what is interesting is what the follow-on launch after that was go tock. a human long. in 2021. and my initial reaction as a navy pilot, remember, gene sterni sternan inspired guys like me to join the united states navy, to become a pilot. it was aspirational. this is the benefit to the united states of america. and they said 2017, i would be the first launch, 2018 could be what it flips to and ultimately we launch a manned orion mission in 2021.
now, it would appear that would have to flip as well. but my initial reaction is we are going four years without a launch. and then put men in the vehicle and add women in the vehicle and send them into space. and my question for you mr. girssten meyer -- sorry, my name is briden stein, so i live with the same problem. my question for you is, do you agree with there assessment that current program develop launch vehicles for the spacecraft for flight beyond leo cannot provide the flight frequency required to maintain competent and safety. do you agree with that? >> we are looking closely at those concerns. first of all, i would say that fact that em-1 move need 18 doesn't mean that em-2 has moved also. we will continue to look at ways of holding that. we are looking at building a
system that we can fly repeatedly and fly for reasonable cost. and we still owe answers to gao on those activities. our goal is once we fly crew in 21 we would like to fly roughly at flight rate of about once per year. and we're off analyzing that once per year flight break to see if you can achieve that within our budgets and think if does that provide enough frequency of flight that it answers the safety concerns and we are off analyzing both of those activity right now. so our intent would be to take this period between the first uncrewed flight of orion to deep space on the sos and second flight with crew and follow that with roughly one flight per year after that. and did you agree that the verizon goal of the united states aught to be landing humans on mars? >> yes. and at nasa we see three phases.
we test out systems like i described. we also understand how the human body performs in micro gravity. doing a one-year expedition next year. and see if humans can with with stand going to mars. and the next region of space around the moon, that's where we are now days away from return. we can test the systems, look at orbital mechanics. see deep space radiation. rendezvous without communication to the ground. we can verify and validate the concepts that will be needed to take us eventually to mars and the last phase is earth independent or the mars ready phase and that's this horizon goal you describe. but we think we have a macro level and orderly process beginning in lower oisrbit and eventually moving on to the mars class mission. >> if you will entertain me for a few seconds here, i would like to ask one last question. which is, the report here that we commissioned, $3.2 million,
18 months, a lot of experts they ipdcate that given our flat funding for the human space flight director that we won't accomplish that mission of getting to mars. given where we are with flat funding, do you agree with that assessment? >> we are going to need some funding level above flat funding. >> would you be willing to come back and provide us what kind of level is necessary in toward accomplish the objective? >> we can provide that and we can take that for the record and describe that. again, it is going to be an assumption of the timeframe and the timeframe is driven. not only by funding requirements but also by have we gained enough experience in space, have we brought down enough technical risks. are we ready to take that next step. so there are several components. more than just a budget discussion. also the technical speed and the assurance of what we can learn during period moving forward. >> and that obviously would require more flight frequency
than what we're currently getting. >> the gentleman's time expired. >> thank you, sir. >> we may have six or seven -- >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you so much to the witnesses for being here today. it's really pretty exciting time for the u.s. space program. i know that my colleagues and i all watched this orion test launch with great interest and i want to also join my colleagues to congratulate nasa. lockheed martin. united launch alliance and everyone who participated in this test flight. i heard from some of my constituent who really applauded this, saw this as a big step in our leadership in space. and that comes as welcome news as we are trying to inspire and spark interest in the next generation of young scientists. in our previous space subcommittee hearings, we talked
about the challenges communicating the importance of nasa's work and mission to our constituency who support the mission with their hard-earned tax dollars. as mr. briden stein was saying, we have a lot of people who are inspired, looking back to the apollo missions and moon landings. but that public outreach is really important. and i noticed that you gave us a publication here that has -- it takes a country that talks about all of the places across the country where the parts and pieces were supplied and purchased and that showes a broad range of states and businesses i'm sure that participated in that. that kind of thing is important to convince our constituents of the importance economically as well. i want to make sure mr. briden stein saw that congressman on board picture in this publication, too. you have some of our congressmen pictured in there. also, i know that the budget
challenges and the lack of certainty is very, very important. and mr. girssten meyer, you talk about that need for stability. and it certainly is something that we talk about here on a regular basis. that that certainty in decision making is and long-term thinking is so important, especially more so for nasa than many of the other decisions we make here. and also we know about the importance of safety. acknowledging as we all know that space exploration involves risk. there are safety concerns and i know that nasa does a lot to address those. so mr. girssten meyer, some have said that outfitting orion with the necessary life support equipment on the first cruise commission will cause the spacecraft to be overweight. so should we be concerned about that? what options does nasa have to mitigate this possibility?
>> and if the flight test that we just flew the next flight of orion will be significantly lighter, we have done a major redesign of some of the structures to actually lower the weight of orion. and that wasn't easy to make those changes. but they've done that. we also are starting, as we described earlier, testing life support systems on board space stations so we know how much they will weigh and some of the systems are in place. so i think we have a sound approach to address concerns that you raise. we know what it will take to add the life support system and we make sure it can be added and still not exceed the mission. >> thank you. mr. girssten meyer, i want to follow up on your response to mr. edward question. we tend to focus on the sos and orion when we think of the exploration program. but i want to talk more about the ground infrastructure at the space center which is also undergoing some significant development. support the sos and orion launches. i know there's been work on the mobile launcher, the vehicle
assembly building, launch pad 39-b under way. so where does that ground infrastructure stand relative to progress made on sos and orion. are they in sync so they will be ready at the same time? >> again, i think that you saw in the video a lot of activity going on down in florida. that work is in progress. when we completed the kdpc review for ground systems and it shows 70% confidence level for that equipment to be ready and florida to support a launch in i think june of 2018. so it's on schedule to move forward. it has challenged it needs to be worked as well. began i would stress i don't see that all of the activities have to line up. even if sos is ready, a little bit early and the ground system isn't fully there, it is still the right thing do to move the rocket down to florida and begin checking out interfaces to see how it will fit with the launch tower, see how it fits with the launch pad. that still fits from overall schedule standpoint.
there's not a disconnect in the schedule. even though everything doesn't arrive at precisely the same time. it is perfectly appropriate to have the one component arrive before. >> thank you. i will squeeze one more question in here. as demonstrated by the nasa authorization of 2014, there is a strong sentiment for nasa to have policy on termination liability that maximizes the use of appropriated funds to make progress and meeting those established technical goals and schedule mile stones. so is -- how is nasa currently handling potential liability for sos and orion. >> it is actually not flasa policy. we believe it is part of the anti-defamation act where the termination is requirement by all agencies to be handled in a similar manner to which the agency does. and that's where we are, so it is not unique, like nasa and what we've done in the past. >> thank you very much. an i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> now recognizing mr. roar booker from california. >> thank you for holding this hearing.roarbooker from califor. >> thank you for holding this hearing. is t is important we have an oversight of the nasa projects that are the responsibility of this subcommittee. many of us were very skeptical about this sos commitment when it was made. we said there would be funding problems. i had no idea the funding problems would come on so quickly. and sir, you noted the funding levels are interesting. interesting? they're not interesting. they are insufficient. why are they insufficient? because we didn't have enough money to begin with. am i correct under assuming that there are large commitments of finances that will be necessary
to develop other technologies that are yet to be developed for this spacecraft for the sls to move forward on its mission to mars? we don't even know if those expensive technology development projects will succeed. to say we have the cart before the horse is an understatement. and there is an expense to this. and i hope my colleagues on this subcommittee understand that with a $10 billion, and that's a minimum expenditure we are talking about here, in developing this monstrous project that won't have a real mission until we are toward go to mars which could be two decades or three decades from now depending on if we ever get over the technological hurdles that we haven't gotten over yet. that by doing that, we commit ourselves not do a bunch of
other things. that could be hitting the earth that murdering millions of people from some objects hitting the earth. much less setting up a system that could deflect the nearest object. we won't have that because we could have a big huge rocket we could be so proud of that won't even have a mission for decades. would he won't be building ways to deflect those rockets. would he won't be building a way and technology developing way, mr. chairman, to clear space debris. space debris will end up involving human kind involvement in space in order to human beings. not to mention the rocket that doesn't have a mission for 20 years. and we basically have cancelled even recently, cancelled the solar cell project. we can't have a refueling system. in space. incredibly increase our abilities to do things in space.
and basically, we could be perfecting our wilays of repairg satellites. all of these things could be funded because we are spending billions of dollars on a rocket that may not fly to mars to decades from now. this is putting the cart before the horse is an understatement that i have ever heard. and we are always having budget crisis talks about it right now. >> it is not just interesting. it is insufficient to adhechiev the goal. even if we pump more money into the project, we are providing it into a rocket useless to is for two decades. as opposed to the other things that could be done in space.
mr. chairman, we need to be serious and responsible. we should not blame the professionals in the executive branch. we might a wrong decision when we went down this road and i think that unfortunately the american people and the people of the world are going pay for not just with money out of their pockets, but things that could have been so beneficial to the human race. and i guess you got 30 stokecon to answer that. go ahead. anything you have for that observation? please feel free. my feelings won't be hurt. >> my only comments would be we don't have very -- i can't think of any real major technical challenges in terms of sos development. >> how about radiation challenge going to mars? have we met that? >> we have not plet that. >> we have a bunch of -- i'm not talking about the challenges of
developing the sls. i'm talking about once we built it and spent the billions of dollars, whether it can go to a mission, which is what it is supposedly for, we don't even know how to land on the moons on mars. we don't have a system set up and how much that will cost us to develop and how it is put on the rocket. we have a list of tech in logical achievements and we are not even half way there. >> please feel free. go. >> we are doing some activity in the areas you describe on board space station. and refueling demonstration package on the board. and we have serviced outside of a satellite and we are also looking a the cryogenics servicing and there is a package on board station. >> those are good things. >> and electric propulsion and part of the redirect mission and looking at techniques where we
can use a tractor to deflect the astroid. >> wonderful. but let me note that all of those projects were financed in budgets before the sls became part of our budget. all of those things you said, in testing, they were done in research and development stage long before we started taking money out to put it in one big rocket. and we don't even know, do we, whether or not we have money to finish the projects we are talking about in that development. there is now $10 billion and by all of the experience we've had, it is likely to go up to double that by the time we finish on it rocket. that's when the rock set ready to take off for the first time. this so rotten decision on the part of this committee. it is not your fault. you're good soldiers and doing your very best with what the members of congress are giving you. we have given you a very undoable task. thank you for your hard work.
>> now recognizing mr. posey. >> thank you. glad that didn't stop apollo. we are all excited about the e orion launch and i think we are see mog public awareness. that is something we look forward to. can you take a moment following up on congressman's comments to discuss the importance of another special aspect of the sla program and that's the exploration ground systems. i'm sure many folks are not up to speed on the importance of the ground systems of the importance of the sls. >> and there is a critical role and they are working on the mobile launch platform to interface with the rockets to provide propellent to that to fuel the rocket and they launch it and are also working on the launch pad and they are going
into the pad. we look forward to lower operations cost so there are many activity on the launch pad. this should lower launch costs. we have the firing room and there are activity there. aep we have made the launch pad a multipurpose launch pad. so it can not only support sls but the fiber cables and supporting rockets launching off of that pad. so there is a tremendous amount of work and occurring for the the flight out of kennedy center, with folks out of navy and anchorage to pick up capsules. and it is critical to what we are doing with the orion processing and manufacturing. >> can you explain the thinking behind the president's budget request? calling for funding.
and increases for exploration ground systems in the years, 2016, to 2019. and what happens if the targets are not met? >> again we need the funding levels that we have requested to meet schedules that we put forward. or they there will be slippages and activities. >> and now recognize mr. brooks. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as you can discern from the comments. and representatives and the commission for sls is certainly concern for this committee. and for congress as a whole. it seems you are uniquely situated as associate administrate forhuman exploration operations to answer some of the questions about sls's missions.
and whether sls or orion o components work. it is another thing to get sos and orion a real mission. such as the lunar mars capturing astroid or whatever. in your opinion, what should the real mission be? >> the first mission should be to the proving ground and space that i described around the moon. we call it lunar space in the vicinity of the moon. a very necessary step for us to move forward. as we push into the solar system. it understands techniques to prepare much as the early flights did in mercury and gemini to prepare for the apollo activity. these flights around the moon will help us prepare to get toward do the mars missions decades later. but the first flights will be to
the vicinity of the moon. the rock set capable of doing that. orion is capable without additions and we can bring our levels of expertise up to where the risk takes bolder steps beyond the lunar space. >> you say around the moon, does that include landing on the moon or just going around the moon. >> in our budget we don't have funding for landing on the money. just in the i have sin ivicinit the moon. we look for mars. we have an international community interested in doing lunar activity and many we can partner with the international community if they clooz choose to develop the lander. but in our fund we don't have a lander for the moon. >> after we go around the moon, what should be the second mission of sls?
>> again, it takes more than one mission around the moon to build the skills -- >> okay, after all of the missions around the moon, then what happens for sls. >> then we go to mars. an intermediate destination or around the moon of mars. those are to be decided. >> can you give me a time see kwen sequence of what you believe applies to the missions you just enumerated? >> we kind of think of them in broad terms. so that decade of the 20s to the 30s, that this proving ground region i described to you where we learn these capabilities between 2020 and 2030, and beyond 2030 we are toward do these other activities to an astroid potentially in its native orbit or potentie potent to mars. >> so in the next decade or two
you are talking about circling the moon. then roughly two decades thereabouts, in the 2030s, you are talking about then we can think about going to mars. is that your testimony? >> it is not just circling the moon. we are actually doing activities around the moon with the intent we are building skills, understanding the hardware, understanding the techniques, understanding the environment we are operating in. that prepares us go to distance as far as mars with a reasonable risk assessment. >> is additional funding needed to speed up the mission platform that you just expressed? >> additional funding can help with that activity. >> how much additional funding would be required by way of example to speed up the mars part of the missions in 2020s, or 2030? >> again, i would like to take
that question for the record. it is plmore than just funding. it is how long it takes us to get proficient at these skills go take that next step. and to give you a real answer i need to spend time with teams looking at how long we think those activities taken a then back into the funding discussion that you had. >> i hope you can understand this subcommittee's concerns when it took us less than a decade, not only to go around the moon but to land on the moon under apollo. and with what i'm hearing you testify to, it is go tock 10 to 20 years to just go around the moon and not land on the moon. so those timing issues are of concern. and themr. chairman, is that ok? >> okay. >> in the past year's hearing on the president's fy 2015 budget request. administrator indicating that providing more funding for sls would not be helpful for
completing the first version of sls by 2017. for your testimony's sake, top risk, and for ef-1 in december of 2017, is insufficient funding. would you please explain this discrepancy and would additional funding make meeting the 2017 test flight possible or at least more likely. >> and the cost risk be identified with the report comes from nasa's own documents. and was also raised by standing review board so in deed of very high risk of not enough money to help meet the 2017 date. that said, as mr. girssten meyer testified, just putting in money now won't help you get there any quicker and there is a lot of sequential activity needed to get some of the critical path items done for sls, like the core stage.
the money at this point would be helping out with reserve and possibly testing and other activity that couldn't be done earlier and bringing them forward. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and ms. chaplin. >> i recognize mr. swiekard. >> thank you. part of this will be follow-up on both what dana and congressman brooks wrote. help me get my head a bit from your report and i'm assuming much of the report was taken from the documents from nasa and others and then when we start to look at time lines -- and this -- i will let you do it as a personal opinion. because you have been doing this for a while. and how short are we fnly.
and ask how short we are technologically. if i said, hey, here is the robustness of what we are try doing, i'm looking at you know, a number of tables, that have all these moving pieces and projects and you said, here is what we are over the next 20 years. and here is what we are seeing congress's appetite for funding. what is an honest number. >> i think there is various flubs to pay attention to here. first are the short term numberis. laid out in the documents for sls and orion. it ranged from 400 to the 00 million. we are pushing out the date and doing other things. those numbers have been reduced. and there is still a funding risk for orion considerably high. >> i'm for the robustness of the system. just orion itself.
and personnel cost, every step you need to make this work instead of just this individual silo has that been actually looked at through the totality of the system that's required. >> right. so the problem we identified and the different report on cost estimates, cost estimating, we don't know the total number of how much it will cost to do everything we are looking for them do and second we don't know really what the pathway is and that pathway has an effect on numberes. like mr. girssten meyer mentioned the cost. you have to pay for landing system. how is much that. it is very important to lay out the roadmap and see the different pieces that you need. we don't know that and we don't have cost estimates beyond the first test for some of the
systems. >> you understand sort of the, you know, when we are looking at numbers we have, here is our best guess. here is our optimistic and here is when we are in trouble. we understand for every step of technology, every additional incremental piece of time-out, the various grows because it is unknown. but we are trying in a number of discussions to get an idea what the exposure is and are we about to can balancize everything else. mr. girssten meyer? >> technologically, if i came to you and said the goals over the next 10 years, 20 years, where do we have things that we don't actually have the technology yet but we are working on it? >> i would say the biggest technology areas we need work on or we need work on radiation for the human being and look at
radiation shielding. we can only shield so much. but i think again a manageable risk. but ultimately some risk associated with the cosmic radiation that we'll have to deal with on humans. other big thing is we are going to mars, entry descent and landing and the surface of mars is a big technology leap. today we have landed rovers on the order of one metric ton to the surface of mars. for a human class mission we have to land about 20 times that. at least 20 metric tons. we don't know exactly how to do do that. we did testing in hawaii to look at reentry heat shields. we are working on that technology. and going back to the other questions mr. brooks about why we aren't sprinting to the moon like before, i'm building systems that are modern manufacturing. so the equipment we're putting in down can be flown multiple
times for minimum cost. so we are spending extra time to prepare a system that's affordable in the long-term. gao want more details on that. we need provide that information to them. but we are looking forward and not just building a single system that sprint to a destination. we are building an infrastructure that allows us to have presence beyond earth's orbit. >> thank you. mr. chairman as you had a number of conversations, we still think there's so much variablity exposure and cost and we all know it is about to hit us in the entitlement crisis over the next decade cost wise. what happens in the future federal government spending. somewhere here we have a much more robust and much more brutally honest what we have cash flow and what we don't. with that i yield back. >> at this time we go into our second round of questions.
when did nasa first begin tracking the $400 million risk identified by gao? >> probably that guy identified back in 2013. 2014 timeframe. i would say if you asked my teams now, they would say that that $400 million risk, because of appropriations we received in 2014 and the pending bill that we saw last night that $400 million risk will be required. >> if you said 2013, we had administrator bolden sitting where you were telling us if we threw another 300 million at sls and orion we want even notice it. meaning it wasn't needed at that time. so you recognize this risk. so if would you have come to us there a year ago. and when you first started
tracking it, you find out about this risk and 400 million since the gao report has come out and you are telling me nasa has known about this for much longer period than that. there were earlier reports. and technical risk is and budget risks and again to meet a specific launch date. and there a launch date with margin as well and we know what the budgets are as well in 2014. and those remove that uncertainty and lowers the level of the risk. as we identify those we carry those and bring those forward as soon as we can. >> you match your expenditure of fund based on congress's budget or the president's request which has been quite lower than what congress has been appropriating for the past several years?
>> this is the dilemma i have. the reality is, program plants for some various between those that you just described. >> and if you had o come us to for say additional funding a year or two years ago, would you have been able to mitigate the risk or buy down the technical risk or would we still be having the same conversation that the test will slip to the right regardless of the amount of funding we may have been able to appropriate for the program? >> that's a very difficult question to answer. the other thing that is hard for me is that i look at human space flight as the total which is sls orion, also commercial crew, commercial cargo and international space station. i see human space flight is really the combination of all those activities. we urzing space station today to boy down risk for mars so i have
to look at a balancing across all of those programs. i can't optimally fund any one of those programs. so i effectively ballet cross those and the risk and i try to weigh the budget and the technical risk associated with those programs to give what we think is the best approach to deliver hardware for the lowest cost for the congress and taxpayers. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for the second round of questions. something raised earlier, regarding recommendations by the national academies that 5% inflationary increase in the budget. and i understand that for the specific purpose in looking at 2017 to 2018 that that's not what we are talking. want to know about the program an would it be useful for both the administration to recommend
and congress to incorporate this margin that the national academy has recommended. so that we over a period of time that we're not look at the questions that are being raised today. >> so give us some goidance. guidance. >> okay. flip a coin. yes. >> i would just add that that's not the first time a recommendation like that has been made. it was made at the tail end of the constellation program by the augustine kpligs kplicommission. i think they recommended 3 million additional a year, which was pretty significant. and that was their view of what was needed over a number of different paths you would take, not just the constellation path. they recommended path similar to what is being done here.
>> that would provide a lot more stability than what we are seeing now, wouldn't it? >> yes. >> but the other thing to remember is programs like this have spikes in terms of their funding needs. so constellation program itself when the recommendation is made and asking about $3 billion a year but in their budget they would not have as much as 7 billion a year in terms of their needs. so depending on what you are developing and activities come up. >> i want to just ask really briefly and the department of defense large scale programs, they don't go through it. they set out kind of a goal, that crosses congress's. they know there a difference in the large scale development programs. dwr is it that we're funding a, you know, a scientific program that has a lot of uncertainties. year by year. and in some cases a few months by a few months.
don't we end up wasting way more money over the long determine by doing that, than just setting out a goal of making sure that we fund this program in the most robust way possible across -- across the congress's so that the goal is achieved. why aren't we -- why are they modeling for these large scale science programs the same way that that kind of modeling for defense programs. and has gao modelled that and the impact to the space program. >> we never analyzed nasa funding compared to dod funding. it is not like all of the systems don't experience some kind of instability. it is rare when congress is trying to give more money than what they are asking for. sometimes there's a reverse case
where congress gets less. but with programs with a lcht schedule pressure -- >> and experimentation. >> yes. congress recognizes a date to deliver, there tend to be more funding wise and more stable. >> mr. girsten meyer, do have you a comment about that? >> no. i think again the discussion is good. some understanding and stability in budget would be helpful. at least matching inflation would be helpful. >> but again, i think the problem is, as you describe very succinctly that essentially a year budget, sometime months, we throw in furloughs and those are real impacts to us. when we stood down effectively for two weeks when we couldn't do any work on orion during that time, and how to do you plan for that? it is extremely difficult. it a tribute to my teams to take this environment that's very dynamic and figure out a way to
make a significant progress as we can. not waste funds, not use funds in an inappropriate planner. but it is difficult for the teams to do that. but they've done a fairly good job as we've seen through the activity. it could be easy if we got more certainty. >> mr. chairman, i am on a mission that we have to think differently about the way that we do these large scale programs we faced it with james webb. we are looking at it here with sls orion. this is just really not smart and at the end of the day, the technology expired. the technology change over a period of 10 or 20 years is worth stretching things out. then it is like starting all over again. i think it is just about the dumbest way to do science. with that, i yield. >> ms. edwards, i think there are several people who agree with you. >> i now recognize mr.
brianstein. >> thank you. your comments are recognized on both sides of the aisle. i would like to work with you on how to remedy this. we have a quick question about the international implications of our direction for human space flight. the reports that ms. edwards referenced from the national academies indicated that if we were to do this astroid redirect mission, we would be not in alignment with the international community, most of which is focused on getting to the moon. namely the lunar surface. then ton mars. if this missile alignment, according to the report, headed by governor mitch dan else, reported that m misalignment could result in us spending a whole lot of money on dead end technology rather than accomplishing the objective of getting to the moon.
mr. girssten meyer dwob colorado you address that? >> the plan that international partner community has agreed to eye long with nasa's basic framework of how we head forward i think in that roadmap mars is a horizon destination as we described. as a report describes, have a stronger interest in the moon, the astroid redirect mission places this astroid in the vicinity of the moon which is consistent with what the partners would want do. the orion capsule fit well this this gro ground that i describe. we could easily wok with partners and he is port that activity. astroid redirect mission fits with the long-term goal of what we do. we need solar electric propulsion. we will move essentially a 50 metric ton astroid through space.
that could be the same cargo we are delivering to mars. that space tug for the rediriec mission is a part of the tug that fits in the other architecture moving forward. it is not a diversion. not from the overall goal. each piece developing within human space flight. in terms of international partner needs in ou it fits in the horizon goal of mars needs and we only move projects we can continue to keep moving in that direction. we don't want to spend onityems that -- >> do you know offhand, specifically which technology they are talking about that would be dead end technology as we pursue this path? >> i think we didn't have a chance to discuss with the committee significantly how we were going to use this cargo capability for mars. i think if we would have had a chance to describe that with them, tle would not have seen that as dead end capability. so i think we needed to have
more dialogue with the committee. we ran out of time towards the end. they didn't get a chance to see the latest seeing how all of the pieces fit together toward the ultimate mars horizon goal. but i can't judge what their answer would have been. >> last question, down to about a minute and a half. screeria --
business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: mr. president, i want to offer a few word of tribute to my departing colleague, senator carl levin, a model of serious purpose, firm principle, and personal decency and whose example oughte ought o inspire the service of new and returning senators. we could not aspire to better service than he has given our country. charl and i hav i have served tr for the better part of three decades. he is my senior by eight years and has been my chairman for more than ten years in total. it's been a privilege to serve under his very able, honorable, and fair leadership. carl and i sit on opposite sides of the aisle. the difference is quite obvious on any number of issues. but i hope it's also obvious how much i admire and respect my friend from michigan. we've had our moments on the committee. debate there can get a little
passionate from time to time, perhaps a little more passionate on my part than karls. but that is surely my problem, not carl's. wcarl's we are proud of the committee's tradition of bipartisan cooperation which carl has worked to preserve and strengthen. we both know how important that tradition is to faithfully discharging our responsibilities, to help maintain the defense of this country, and do right by the men and women of the united states armed forces. we both feel their example of selfless sacrifice would shame us if we let the committee descend into the partisan posturing it often makes it hard to get important work done in congress. when members disagree in committee, often heatedly, it's because we feel passionately about whatever issue is in dispute. even then, we try to behave civilly and respectfully to each other and we do not let our
disagreements prevent us from completing the committee's impis. carl won't let us. we'l.he has kept the committee focused on its duties and not on the next election or the latest rush to the impairicaids partisan quarrel. -- barricades partisan quawmple. i does so in a calm, patient, and thoughtful mearchlt he seems to be calmer and more patient the more heated our disagreements reform as members' temperatures rise, carl's composure and focus is a calming influence that brings our attention back to the business at hand. you could safely say, he and i have slightly different leadership styles. i'm gentler and less confrontational. but carl's style seems to work for him. it works well for the committee, too, for the armed services, and for the country.
the committee has a heavy workload every year and carl manages to keep us all in harness and working together at a good pace and with a constructive results-oriented approach that is the envy of the dozen or so lesser committees of the senate. our principal responsibility is to produce the defense authorization bill, one of the most important and comprehensive pieces of legislation the senate considers on an annual basis. the committee has never failed to report the bill and the senate has never failed to pass it. that's not an accomplishment that some of the lesser committees i just referred to can claim every year, and no one deserves more of the credit than carl levin. when carl levin first joined the committee, he explained his reasoning for seeking the assignment this way: quote -- "i had never served and i thought there was a big gap in terms of my background and,
frankly, felt it was a way of providing service." he might have never served in the military, but he has surely served the military well. and he has served the national trinterest our armed services protect in an exemplary manner that the rest of us would be wise to emulate. most recently i've had the honor and privilege of serving along carl on the permanent subcommittee on investigations. his tireless efforts and steadfast dedication to exposing misconduct and abuse by financial institutions and government regulators have set a new standard for thoughtful and thorough congressional investigations. whether the topic was the 2008 financial crisis, swiss banking secrecy, or j.p. morgan's london whale di debacle, the public at large and professionals newts that they could count on carl leaf to inget to the bottom of
it with authoritative reports and hearings. carl's tenacity in uncovering wrongdoing sparked significant changes in the financial sector. i also commend carl on zealously and effectively pursuing his investigations in a way that has furthered the committee's long-standing bipartisanship. while carl and i may have had our disagreements, we never let them get in the way of finding common ground where we could. while carl's retirement may come as a relief to some of those on wall street, his patience, thoughtfulness and commitment to bipartisanship will be deeply missed on the subcommittee and in the senate. indeed, from carl levin's long and distinguished service in the senate, carl has obtained the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. we all listen to him and we listen chosest to him on the occasion l -- closest to him on
the occasions when we disagree with him. that is a great compliment from one senator to another. it is a tribute paid to only the most respected members. of course, the greatest compliment one senator can pay another is to credit him or her as a person who keeps his or her word. that's become too rare in washington, but not so in my experiences with carl levin. he has never broken his word to me. he has never backed out of a deal, even when doing so would have been personally and politically advantageous. when we are in agreement on an issue, carl usually argues more effectively than i can, and when we disagree, we usually find a way to settle the dispute without abandoning our responsibilities. carl levin deserves most of the credit for that, too. one of the great satisfactions in life is to fight for a common cause with someone you haven't
always agreed with, someone whose background, views, and personality are different from yours. and yet you discover that despite your differences, you have always been on the same side on the big things. thank you, carl, for the privilege and for your friendship and example. the committee is going to miss you, the senate is going to miss you, the men and women of the united states armed forces are going to miss you, and i will miss set a record for
60 years and privilege for me now, mr. speaker, also to be in this well to deliver what is my last speech on this floor. it has been a privilege and honor of a lifetime for me to serve as a member of the united states congress, serving as the first woman ever elected from the state of minnesota in the capacity of being a republican. it's an honor and it's a ride of a lifetime. and as i stand here in the well of this house, i'm fulfilled with joy and so much happiness and understanding that the privilege that i have is one of being really a link on a chain, that's gone on for hundreds of years. and i stand right here on the soil in the square feet that are the freest square feet in the
world, because you see, mr. speaker, it is here where any ice that holds an election certificate can speak forth the words, words that maybe the president of the united states would agree -- disagree with, words that maybe colleagues from one's own party or other party may disagree with, words that might have people go to riot. but words, nonetheless that are free, free, free because a price was paid so that speech could be given. it's an honor. where else could we find this level of freedom anywhere in the world? and that's why at the very top of this capitol on the rotunda dome, standing a full 20 feet tall is a statue called freedom.
it's a woman and her name is freedom. and she stands as the upper-most point in this part of our nation's capitol. and she faces east, because she faces towards the sunrise, so that every day freedom's face looks into the morning son and happily we begin yet one more day of liberty in this country. you see, i'm so proud to be a part of this nation. i'm so proud to be an american citizen, because i recognize the costs that my freedom was the price that was paid for it by those who have gone before and so thrilled to have this opportunity. just behind me mr. speaker, above where you are standing is our nation's motto, and it says in god we trust. what a fabulous motto. could any better motto be written for any nation to
declare full voice that it is in god that we as a nation put our trust. what other more trustworth venue could there be? what other trustworthy vehicle could there be than a holy god. these words were mouthed by the founders of our country, those who decided to leave the comforts of their home to come here to what was essentially an untested, untapped world where there were people, the native americans who populated this land, but where a brand new culture was about to be born. one that would be blessing the entire world. where people knew they could come from any portion of the world and find a new birth of freedom, as individuals but also as a nation.
we have so much to be thankful for, so much to be grateful for. for people who have never been in this chamber before, this is the room where the laws of our nation are formulated. our founders meant that the house of representatives would be the most powerful form of government. why? because it would be these 435 members that we eventually became, we would hold the power of the purse, we would hold the nation's credit card. and it would be us to decide what we spent money on and what we didn't. we would formulate policy with -million w 300-plus american people. we are the law givers. the people have given us the privilege of the election certificate to make the laws. we must never forget that it is by the consent of the governed
that we rule and we decide our laws. as i look about this chamber, we re ringed with the sill wet. various law givers throughout all of time, law givers for whom veneration is required and yet only one law giver has the distinction of not having it but having the full faith being revealed by the artist. that law giver is moses. moses is directly above the double doors that lead into the center-most part of this chamber. and in the face of moses, his eyes look straight upon not only our nation's motto, in god we trust, but moses' face looks full on into the face of the speaker of the house.
daily the speaker of the house, as he stands up in his authority and in his podium, recognizes that he, too, is a man under authority, just as moses was a man under authority. because you see, mr. speaker, moses is given -- for the full honor of the greatest law giver in this chamber, because he was chosen by the god that we trust to be entrusted with the basis of all law. the basis of all law as was written by blackstone, the famous english jurist was the 10 commandments that were given none other by the god we trust on mount sinai. we know those laws. those are the fundamental laws of mankind. and here in the united states, the 10 commandments that god
gave to moses is the very foundation of the law that has given to happiness and the rise of the greatest prosperity that any nation has known before. r. speaker, it could be no coincidence that this is nation knowing great prosperity, that it could be built upon that foundation of the 10 commandments and the laws given by the god in who we trust. what a privilege we have been given. what an unparalleled foundation. we have so much to be grateful for and thankful for. and before i continue my remarks. i want to also say to thank you to people in their individual capacity who have done so much to help me in my service in the ouse of representatives of --.
i thank the people of the 6th congressional district of minnesota who gave me the election certificate that i have been privileged to hold for these four terms that i have served in office for eight years. had the people not elected me to serve, i would have never known what a privilege it would be to serve them here in this chamber. and i thank the great people of the 6th district. it is known as the greatest people in this country as far as i'm concerned. people, where all the men are good looking and the children are above average. it is a state unlike any other. and it was a privilege to serve. i thank the numerous volunteers who worked on my campaigns to send me here. without their tireless works and making phone calls, it never would have happened.
i was a home maker at home, with our family. i have been a federal tax litigation attorney. i had the privilege of starting a charter school and my husband and i started our own examine. -- company. i want to thank the people of the 6th district and the volunteers who sent me here. and i thank the donors who gave their money also so i could be here. i had very hard-fought campaigns. i was the top nemes is and millions of dollars were spent to make sure that i would not have the privilege of standing in the well of this house. but i want to thank those who gave me the money to be able to come and who sacrificed so i could be here. over the years, my races were so expensive that at one point, mine was the most expensive race
in the country and that was done on an average donation of $41 per donation. millions and millions of dollars with an average donation of $41. i'm so proud of that, because real people across the united states saw in me an authentic credible voice who was here to speak for them. i had people who said to me, thank you, you speak for me and i'm so thankful that you fought for me here in washington. they knew i wasn't here to speak for special interests and knew i wasn't bought and paid for, and knew i was speaking for them. and i want to say to those who did donate money to my campaigns, i'm the same person today as i was when i came here eight years ago and i fought for you and for the values that you sent me here to fight for. . i also want to thank the god
who created us. the creator god, the god that jefferson pointed to in the declaration of independence. it is because of him and because he created me in his image and likeness as he has each one of us that i even had the possibility of coming here to be able to serve. i also thank my parents, my father who has passed away, i thank my mother, jene, and my step-father, for their love and their support over the years as well. i am thank tolve my brothers, david and gary and paul and my step-brothers and my step-sisters. i'm thankful to my husband, marcus, of 36 years. to to our five wonderful children, lucas and his wife, christine, harrison, elisa, caroline and sofia. and also to our wonderful 23 foster children that we were privileged to raise over the years. as i often joke, yes, i am the old woman in the shoe.
i've raised 28 children and i'm so grateful for each one of them. i'm thankful for my very dear friend over the years who prayed for me and stood by me and helped me to get to this position, to my supporters from the great state of minnesota. and most particularly to the prayer warriors. the very first committee that we formed every time i ran for political office was our prayer committee. and i thank you to the intersessers who prayed routinely for me, those prayers i believe were answered. i also say thank you to the men and women who serve today in our armed forces. it was the privilege of a lifetime for me to go and travel across the world to iraq, to afghanistan, to germany and various places around the world where i was able to meet you in your service and i thank you for allowing me to meet you there. i say thank you to our veterans who have gone before. you know how near and dear you are to my heart. i'm the daughter of a veteran, step-daughter of a veteran, sister of a veteran.
and i am so grateful because i recognize we would not be here today if it wasn't for our veterans and i thank you for your service to our country. because you answered the call. i want to also say thank you to my staff, my longest serving staff member, kim ruben, who came with me on day one and who has served me every single day so superbly as my scheduler. there is no one quite like her and i have absolutely no idea how i will order my life once i leave here without kim ruben. i say thank you to my chief of staff, robert bowlen, who has stepped in and done a wonderful job with our well-organized machine and our office. he makes it a joy for everyone in our office to serve. i say thank you to my press communications director, dan, who has done such a wonderful job every day, challenging know make sure that i can be as good as i can and to keep me from making the mistakes that i'm
all too prone to make. for mckayla hall who keeps me on the current edge in absolutely everything that she does, with a brilliant career in front of her. for renee doyle, my dear long-time friend and legislative director, who has a heart of gold and who has served tirelessly in every form of her capacity. for jason fry, sergeant fry, who has served our nation as a veteran, but who now will be a legislative director for my successor and he will do a wonderful job serving. for kevin wasaki who has a tremendous future and has served me so well. i thank him, mr. speaker, for the brilliant, high-quality man of integrity that he is. for jessica cah limbings, l who what -- cahill who has always served me. for our intern, julie, for our district director, deb, who has been so faithful to me during my time and service. for barbara harper, who has been with me through thick and
thin, through 16 years of activism and political life. for nicole receiverson-pe -- receiverson--- severson-pelzer. i'm so grateful for the capitol police for all that they've done to secure my safety. for the sergeant at arms, for our chaplains, our bible study leaders, for the clerk's office. i want to give a special shoutout to james who runs the railroad car in the basement of the rayburn building. james has become a wonderful friend, a man of god, and we literally have tears in our eyes when we are saying good-bye to each other in these last days. he has brought joy to my heart and i thank him, as well as i thank maria, who stands right out here outside the door. she has to fetch me all the time because i'm usually the last one in the chamber, trying to get more business done. maria says, it's time to go, congresswoman, and i thank god for maria and what a darling she's been. for the committee staff from financial services committee of
which i've been privileged to serve for eight years. for the committee staff on intel committee. no one knows how hard they work and what a vital service they play to our nation. to bonnie, the elevator lady, who's always so happy. i'm so grateful for her. and for the two ladies that are at the lunch counter back in the cloakroom. to ms. pat and ms. doirs. you are such good cooks, you make wonderful sand witches. and i always knew that if i was short $2, you'd see me through to the next day. so thank you for believing in my credit worthiness. more than anything, i want to say thank you to the founders of this nation who gave us the most incredible ride by believing in us and in our future, by recognizing that these truths are self-evident, that all men and all women are created equal, that we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, that among those rights are life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness. and what that means to me is this. no government gave me rights that only god can give. and no government can take away the rights that only god can give. the only reason that we even have a government and the only reason it was instituted among men is to secure for me and for you the rights that god gave us. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. beyond that we rule by the consent of the governed. this is a pretty simple gig to figure out here. there are things that government can't touch. would that we would learn that. but there are things that we do . and those things that we do should be for the happiness of man kind. you see, it is our job not to think only of ourselves but to think of the generations that are yet to come. my favorite americans are people who didn't know they
were americans. they were the pilgrims. they came here before our nation was founded. and i love the story that was written by governor bradford. he wrote in his journal, which i have read in the kings english mument approximately times, it's one of my favorite groups of people, the pilgrims. governor bradford wrote that with the sorrow and the sacrifice that the pilgrims made, you know, vet first year when they came over, fully half of them died in that first starving winter. governor bradford wrote that it was worth it all because the pilgrims saw themselves in his words as stepping stones. he said, they willingly laid down their lives and sacrificed themselves because they looked into the future, mr. speaker. and they saw you and they saw me and they saw all of the american generations that would come after them and they saw
what a marvelous land filled with natural resources, the ability to have freedom, a completely new covenant, a completely new promise that we could make with the future and with the god that we trust. we could have here a brand new ordered experiment in liberty and we did. and the generations benefited. and our generation has benefited like nothing before. and that's what we too must do. and as i wind down my remarks, i say thank you, mr. speaker. thank you that i could have that privilege of also being a stepping stone, to look to the future, so that the next generation would live better than we
mr. johnson: mr. president?r the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. johnson: in 1986, the people of south dakota elected me to serve them in the 100th session of the united states congress in the house of representatives. in 1996, they gave me the honor and privilege of being their junior senator. when i ran for the house in 1986, i told the people of south dakota that neither party has all the answers and that both parties have good ideas as well as men and women of goodwill. my job, as i understood it, would be to work in a bipartisan manner, listen to all parties
and reach in good faith, also known as a compromise. that is what i still believe. however, in each year of my 28 years of service, this has become more difficult to achieve. each party, rather than working cooperatively for the american people, is more and more focused on winning the next election. today, days after the 2014 election, you can walk into the call center for either party and find members dialing for dollars for 2016. tonight there will be fundraisers across d.c. where members will discuss policy, not
with their constituents but with organizations that contribute to their campaigns. mr. president, we have lost our way. my thoughts are not original. my colleague and dear friend from south dakota, senator tom daschle, in his farewell called for finding common ground that will not be found on the far right or on the far left. that is not where most americans live. we will only find it in the firm middle ground based on common sense and shared values. a senator in his farewell speech said his greatest frustration was the difficulty in finding common ground on significant
issues, saying that it doesn't happen often enough. in fact, the need for bipartisanship and the lack of it in the senate is a hallmark of senator farewell speeches. rather than expounding on this topic, i would like to share the rare instances where i have experienced it. i found it working with my colleague, senator john thune, as we put aside our political differences and worked as our constituents expected two norwegians to work. we worked side by side as we pushed for farm bills, highway funding, emergency relief from droughts and floods. we successfully fought the
proposed brac closing of elsworth air force base. however, our norwegian heritage, we never fought. i found it on the banking committee working closely with ranking member crapo. together we reached middle ground on reforms in which both parties gave up significant priorities, compromising funding middle ground to pass bills out of committee. my best and most enduring memory of this magnificent body occurred during my nine months absence following my a.v.m., a long and humbling journey. during this journey, my committee assignments were respected and my friend from
rhode island, senator jack reed, graciously accepted extra responsibilities until my return. senator harry reid told me that during my long absence, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle never once tried to take advantage of my absence. more importantly in so many ways, the kind words and prayers from you and your spouses on both sides of the aisle supported both barbara and me and give us strength during my long and continuing recovery. i was grateful and humbled by your support on september 9, 2007, the day that i returned to the senate, when almost every chair in this chamber was filled
. senator reid and senator mcconnell, i thank you for your welcome back to the senate family. in the years ahead, i will miss this family, not the bickering that i mentioned earlier, but the blessing that you have all been to barbara and me. mr. president, i would also like to thank another family that has been critical to my work for south dakota. a family that goes by the name team johnson. this team is composed of highly talented and courageous individuals. they have worked tirelessly in the halls of congress and south dakota and on campaigns to make
our state and our country a better place to live. i wish that i could thank each one of you for your service. please know how much i appreciated the long hours and late days that you put in. in the years ahead, i hope that we will continue to celebrate the friendship that we have forged. to my friend and chief of staff for 30 years, jeff samuelson, thank you for joining my fledgling uphill race for congress in 1986 and for staying with me until we close the senate office in a few days. few members of congress have been as fortunate as i have been to have the loyalty, friendship and thoughtful guidance that you
have given me. my legislative directors have all been remarkable but time limits me to noting the services of two individuals who have served the longest -- dwight fittig who started with us in the house as a young man fresh from his internship with senator byron dorgan of north dakota. dwight rose through the ranks to legislative director and then became my first director on the banking committee. todd stubendach, my current l.d., whose legislative guidance for over ten years has guided the staff in moving critical legislation through the senate. todd and dwight have worked on
legislation for projects that now deliver water to hundreds of thousands of people across south dakota. country of origin bills, farm bills, national historic sites for lewis and clark and the minuteman missile numerous projects for elsworth air force base and the south dakota national guard with efficiency and collegiality. todd and dwight, thank you for your outstanding legislative teams. our number one researcher, numerous historian and go-to person lucy waigle has been with us since we opened the first offices. thank you, lucy. to my south dakota state director, sharon boysen, thank you for leading the three state offices, for ensuring that we
were responsive to south dakotans and coordinating with the d.c. office. sharon stroists who directed the aberdeen office and darryl schumacher who managed another office have been outstanding leaders for 28 years. you and all the state staff have been great advocates for south dakota. you made sure that i always knew what was on the minds of south dakotans, you visited crisis situations, local and tribal governments, businesses, schools and much more. thank you. linda robinson, thank you for your dedication, willingness to go the extra mile in your
outreach to and services for our state's veterans for 28 years. the senate office only had one office manager for the last 18 years as the most insightful person that i know. the university of south dakota will be forever grateful when they receive the archives nancy assembled. thank you. to the standing committees on banking and milcon, you have served our nation well and i know that you will continue to do so in the future. thank you for your leadership on important issues. i'm looking forward to the years ahead and the time that we will share.
to my wife barbara and our three children, thank you for your unwavering support, for putting up with late night dinners, for accepting that my work demanded that i was away so many weekends and for working side by side with me on challenging campaigns. without your understanding, love, and support, i could not have done the work that i love. finally, to the people of south dakota, thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you and our state legislature, the house of representatives and the united states senate. thank you for working side by side with me to improve the
the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, i rise today to bid farewell to my colleague and friend senator tim johnson. tim has deep roots in south dakota in the towns of canton and vermillion in particular. he served our state for more than 35 years, first in the state legislature. then after winning a highly competitive primary against two well-known democrat opponents in the halls of congress. in 1996, after a decade in the u.s. house of representatives, tim won his first of three terms in the united states senate. i'm well acquainted with his second election because i came out on the short end of that stick. but i've had the privilege of serving with tim now in the south dakota delegation for over 16 years. today i want to pay tribute to
his many years of public service and all he's done for our home state. i'd also like to take a moment to thank senator johnson's staff for their dedicated work. they've worked closely with my staff for many years and i'm grateful for their efforts. mr. president, like many south dakotans, i will always remember tim as a fighter. south dakotans are tough, rugged folks and tim exemplified that spirit every day in the united states senate. a big part of his legacy as a public servant will be his tenacity, his work ethic and his unwavering focus on the policies that he believed to be in the best interest of south dakota. tim and i haven't always seen eye to eye on every issue. we've always been able to come together and work for south dakotans in times of crisis, from drought relief to flood and tornado responses to protecting the black hills from wildfires, senator johnson and i have always been able to quickly respond to the needs of our state regardless of party
differences or past disagreements. mr. president, when you represent a state like south dakota, what some people like to call a flyover state, a state that some of our colleagues here in the senate occasionally mix up with north dakota, there are days when it can seem like the concerns of rural americans aren't given fair consideration. the needs of rural america are not being heard by the administration or more densely populated areas of our country. i've had the great pleasure of working with tim to bring a voice to the concerns of rural america and those of us who hail from the middle of the country. to highlight one of the many examples i could bring up, since his first term in congress, tim has fought tirelessly for water infrastructure to deliver clean drinking water to families in south dakota and throughout the great plains. water is a vital resources in the rural expanses of south dakota and tim's efforts helped meet this basic need in
underserved indian reservations, small towns and rural areas across our state. these developments will pay dividends well beyond his tenure in the senate. throughout tim's long career in public service from his beginnings in the south dakota legislature to his ascension to the chairmanship of the senate banking committee, he has had a hand in numerous efforts that will hem south dakotans and americans alike for generations to come. and i know i speak for all south dakotans when i say thank you, tim, for your dedication and your service to our great state. it's been an honor to serve with you here in the united states senate. thank you for your example, your efforts on behalf of our beloved south dakota, and most of all for your friendship. on behalf of my wife kimberly and me, i wish you, barbara and your family the very best as you begin a new chapter. mr. president, i yield the lead.
mr. barton: i thank the distinguished speaker. i want to thank the speaker for granting us this special order to honor congressman ralph hall of the fourth congressional district and granting us this time today. although congressman hall has been sidelined by recent accident, he's blessed to be on the mend and he hopes to express his thanks in person sometime next year. hopefully he's watching on c-span television right now from rockwall, texas, and i cannot tell him how many members wish him the speediest of recovery and wish that he
were with us now. ralph has asked me to put in the record the following statement from himself. i want to express -- and this is -- i quote from congressman ralph hall. i want to express my heart felt appreciation to those in the fourth congressional district who gave me their vote of confidence time and again, who gave me the benefit of their wisdom and good ideas and who inspired me to do my best to represent their views and their vision -- and their vision in washington. you will always be dear to my heart. mr. speaker, i also want to put into the record a full statement by congressman hall at this time by unanimous consent. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. barton: thank you. with that i want to yield five minutes to the distinguished congressman from colin county,
congressman sam johnson. -- collin county, congressman sam johnson. mr. johnson: thank you. i rise to appreciate ralph hall. it's been said, quote, a hero is someone who has given his or her life to someone bigger than ones self-. ralph embodies these -- one's self. ralph embodies these word. he's a fierce protector of freedom and a great conservative. he is a shining example of all that is great about america and the great state of texas. ralph and i have known each other for a very long time. i won't say how long. we are blessed to represent neighboring districts, and there's no greater friend and ally in congress than ralph. we have worked together on a number of issues.
recently, i was pleased to help ralph with a zebra mussel water bill. that is a bill that provided clean water to north texas. now, ralph is known both around the hill and back at home for his sense of humor. you might say that's why he's never met a stranger. every person he meets is not just a friend but a close friend. on a more serious note, ralph is also known for his faithful love of his late wife, mary ellen. if you ever visit with ralph, he'll tell you she was the person who encouraged him to enter public service, and since then she was with him every step of the way. when ralph had his chairman portrait painted two years ago, he made sure mary ellen was part of that portrait.
that love and commitment speaks so highly of ralph's character. ralph, as your colleague, i thank you for your service to your constituents, our great state of texas and our great nation. as your friend, i thank you for your sense of humor but more importantly i thank you for your loyal friendship. you know, d.c. won't be the same without you. god bless you. i salute you, ralph. mr. barton: thank you, congressman johnson. before i recognize congresswoman greaninger, i want to -- granger, i want to say most of ralph's washington, d.c., staff is watching this. janet, christopher, leslie,
mitzy and ralph wanted me to thank y'all for your ervice for himself and for the fourth district of texas. i want to yield to the lady from the 12th district of texas, the honorable kay granger. ms. granger: thank you. it's such an honor to speak about our good friend, ralph hall. you know, his background and what he's done is really amazing. he joined the navy when he was -- in 1942. went to war. came back and got l.l.b. from southern methodist university. he was admitted to the texas bar and became a county judge, the president of the state judge and commissions association, elected to the state senate and was president pro tempore. then in 1980 came to the house
of representatives where he still serves. the most important thing is something that joe barton talked about in his life and he said, if you're going to talk about how important my life is, you'll talk about his wife, mary ellen. the love of his life. they were married in 1944 and were maried until she passed -- married until she passed. we talk about who ralph hall is. the first thing you think about is that great smile. he was always smiling. always had a twinkle in his eye and a joke on his lips. there was no one that told jokes better, there's no one that tells jokes better than ralph hall. he's always got a story and he's always got a joke. i had to go to the "dallas morning news" for endorsement at the editorial board one time and unfortunately ralph was interviewed right before i was. i walked in and they were still laughing at his jokes and no one could even think of a question for me for a while.
he was just that kind of person. never said a mean thing about anyone but told a lot of jokes to a lot of people. so i wish ralph were here sitting in this chamber with us tonight, but because of his accident, he's not but i know he's watching it. and to his family and to ralph, we miss you and we wish you the very best. it's been wonderful. we're all better from having known you. thank you. mr. barton: i thank the gentlelady. before i introduce congressman neugebauer, i already put one statement in the record ralph wanted me to read, but by electronic device, he's sent a second statement. so this is another direct quote from congressman hall. although sidelined by recent accident, i am blessed to be on the mend and hope to express my thanks in person sometime next year. it's been a great honor and privilege to represent the good people of the fourth congressional district for the past 33 years. i thank them for their vote of
confidence over the years for their wisdom and good ideas and for inspiring me to represent their views and their vision to the best of my ability. and with that i want to recognize for five minutes the congressman representing lubbock, texas, where the ennis lions will play a high school football game friday night, the honorable randy neugebauer. mr. neugebauer: i thank the gentleman. i rise to honor the service of my colleague, ralph hall. when you look at ralph's life, it's a record of serve to his country. it began in 1942 as a young lieutenant flying an aircraft off of an aircraft carrier, and after the war, ralph came back to this country and started work in the private sector in creating jobs and expanding the economy in texas. . later ralph would be the county judge for rock wall, texas, and
would late behr elected as a texas state senator. in 1980, he was elected to the united states congress to represent the fourth district of texas, where he has represented that district with distinction. one of the things, you ever traveled in ralph's district and stop at the 7-eleven or place to get a little gas and mention the name ralph hall, people's faces light up. i bet everybody in rock wall county has met ralph hall in fact, probably everybody in ralph's district has met ralph. because one of the things he was diligent about doing was making sure people in his district felt represented. since his election, he's worked tirelessly here in congress on a number of issues and i had the honor and privilege to serve on the house science, space, and technology committee with ralph, and one of the things i appreciated most about ralph, and i think most of us appreciated is ralph's sense of